Awhile back I mentioned that I needed some new Magic: the Gathering
cards and that I was interested in checking out a sanctioned store
in my area. Thanks to this list supplied by the guys at PlayMagic, I was able to find one and explore its shelves. First off, that list above was something new to me. Apparently every Friday, the guys at Wizards hold a casual tournament called Friday Night Magic
. Aside from getting help and learning how to play, FNM gives players the opportunity to win cool prizes! Also, you donâ€™t even have to win the game for some of them, which is vitally important to me at this stage in my Magic
Hereâ€™s a quick rundown of some of the rules of the event that is probably run somewhere in your area as well:
* 1st and 2nd place receive one prize card each.
* Door prize â€“ The tournament organizer will randomly award the remaining two prize cards to two players that did not place first or second.
* FNM events are 8k tournaments and have a Rules Enforcement Level (REL) of 1.
* Stores do not have to run FNM tournaments each week, so contact the store in advance be sure they are running FNM on the date you're planning on visiting.
* All 4 prize cards associated with each Friday Night Magic event must be awarded to the players.
* If fewer than 8 players participate, the event does not count toward player ratings, and prize cards must be returned.
* Friday Night Magic events can only be run on Fridays.
Iâ€™m mulling around the possibility of attending an FNM event next week, but for right now Iâ€™ll focus on my first trip to my Magic store. As I mentioned, my girlfriend has really been rocking me in the game. Sheâ€™s good, Iâ€™ve got to admit â€“ but I know I can be better. I just need some more cards that break the rules. So, the choice to check out my local store was an easy one.
First off, the majority of these stores arenâ€™t massive. Itâ€™s not like walking into Wal-Mart and being under its florescent glow. Magic
stores are often small, book brokers. I find this to be the perfect way to learn about the game and be in an environment conducive to the experience.
When I walked into the store I was surprised by the amount of stuff that they had. Booster packs lined the walls, and boxes upon boxes of theme decks were packed on the shelves. Itâ€™s like walking into a GameStop, but for cards. I didnâ€™t even know this kind of thing existed.
I stopped to talk to the employee who took care of the Magic
section, and he was thoroughly helpful. I asked him about my latest quandary, the +1/-1 counters, and even what the hell goats did. He answered my questions thoroughly, and a few other guys hanging around the store gave their few cents with the issue as well. While sticking my nose in a rulebook for a few minutes would have given me the same lesson, nothing beats being told what something does in person. It sticks better this way. I had to look up the rules for flying creatures a billion times, but it wasnâ€™t until a side conversation at the shop that I really understood what they could do and when.
Because Iâ€™m a rookie, I decided to buy a couple of theme decks to settle the score with my girlfriend, the first of which is the black deck from DarkSteel. Itâ€™s all about control and the regeneration of your creatures. It sounds like the perfect counter to her hard-hitting and fast Kithkin deck. In addition to this, I was also able to buy a really hip life counter, and a few placeholder cards for her 1/1 knights and my 1/1 goats. Very cool and very helpful.
I took quite a bit from this experience. The first thing I latched onto is how social Magic: the Gathering
really is. The majority of people (even myself at one point) argue that Magic
is a closeted activity. Itâ€™s not. Sure, itâ€™s niche, but it is a wonderfully expressive game that allows you to communicate, make new friends, and even play competitively. Itâ€™s like Xbox Live, minus the whole Internet thing. The second thing Iâ€™ve grabbed from this experience is how easy it is to get what you need at a Magic store. They have an awesome selection of boosters and singular cards. Itâ€™s perfect if you want to build your first deck.
Next up, I almost got beat by a little girl and a demo of the two-player starter pack.